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Nitric Oxide. 2006 Dec;15(4):400-7. Epub 2006 May 4.

Effect of copper dosing on sulfide inhibited reduction of nitric and nitrous oxide.

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Sub-Department of Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, Bomenweg 2, P.O. Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The stimulating effect of copper addition on the reduction rate of nitrous oxide (N(2)O) to dinitrogen (N(2)) in the presence of sulfide was investigated in batch experiments (pH 7.0; 55 degrees C). N(2)O was dosed either directly as a gas to the headspace of the bottles or formed as intermediate during the denitrification of nitrite in Fe(II)EDTA(2-)-containing medium and nitrate in Fe(II)EDTA(2-)-free medium. Sulfide was either dosed externally or generated from endogenous sulfur sources during anaerobic incubation of the sludge. In the presence of sulfide (from 15 microM to 1mM), heterotrophic denitrification using ethanol as electron donor was incomplete, i.e., N(2)O accumulated instead of N(2) or was transiently formed. Copper addition (60 microM) rapidly stimulated the reduction of N(2)O to N(2). Zinc addition (60 microM) did not have a similar strong stimulating effect as observed for copper and the N(2)O reduction rate was not stimulated at all upon supply of FeCl(3) (2 mM). Thus, a copper deficiency for N(2)O reduction is most likely developed in the presence of sulfide. It is suggested that sulfide induces this deficiency as it readily precipitates as copper sulfide and thus scavenges copper in the medium or that sulfide inactivates the N(2)OR reductase as it sequesters the copper of this metalloenzyme.

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